GERMANY’s Federal Audit Office has found that the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) has failed to charge fees to recover the costs of services it provides or funds for the German railway industry.

Reporting to BMDV, the Federal Railway Authority (EBA) has been responsible for monitoring the safety management systems in use by operators since 2013 and has not charged the industry any fees to recover the costs of doing so. This is despite a previous request from the Federal Audit Office to establish and charge fees.

The legal basis for charging fees was only established in July 2022, and the Federal Audit Office has told the German parliament that fees to recover the costs of safety management monitoring should be charged from now on. The revenue, expected to be several million euros, should be provided as income for the BMDV, thus offsetting a similar amount of direct government funding for the ministry.